What Is Somatoenergetics?
A Healing Art
Somatoenergetics offers an integral approach to understanding health and illness alike. As a healing art it is used to treat chronic and acute disease, to promote wellness and to prevent illness from arising. Somatoenergetics is based upon the principles outlined in Arnie Lade’s book – Energetic Healing: Embracing the Life Force.
“Somato” refers to our living physical forms; “energetics” to the study of energy and its transformations, and together they denote the study of the embodied life force or energy within us.
In its practice, Somatoenergetics incorporates energetic theory, assessment skills, acupuncture, manipulation and hands-on healing techniques, diet, and other natural practices. Both ancient and modern practices are integrated together with a unique theory of energy, including the Indian charka – nadi model and Chinese meridian model.
But at it’s heart, Somatoenergetics is an evolving, eclectic discipline, one that promotes an attitude of infinite learning, kindness and respect.
Principles & Practice
In Somatoenergetics healing, health and integration are natural outcomes when we restore proper balance and vitality to the inherent life force. This life force has been known throughout history by different names: the Chinese called it Qi (pronounced ‘chee’), in India it was called Prana, and the Greeks knew it as Pnuema. On the other hand, disease arises when there’s an essential breakdown in the vitality and flow of the life force within us. The work of Somatoenergetics is to restore the vital energy to its optimum flow and function. The following describes some of the core methods used in this work.
The art of acupuncture is founded upon a detailed and precise knowledge of the subtle Qi flows that circulate within us. This Qi moves within channels or meridians along whose path numerous points exist. Here meridian Qi can be manipulated through the use of fine needles, finger pressure (acupressure), laser light or the application of heat. Research shows that meridian Qi utilizes the body’s fascia (a pervasive form of connective tissue) as its preferred medium of conduction.
From the perspective of Somatoenergetics, meridian Qi is understood to be an aspect of the life force that organizes the intricate web of functional systems, such as organs, glands, brain and nerves, blood vessels, muscles or bones. Therefore by skillfully regulating and harmonizing the flow of Qi both body and mind are encouraged to heal.
Manipulation & Movement
Somatoenergetics recognizes that within the human body there are two fundamental types of movement: voluntary and involuntary. Voluntary or volitional movement arises from conscious intention to act (such as bending over to pick up a pencil or breathing in a certain way while swimming), while involuntary movement are those that lie beyond our immediate control (such as the beating of our heart or the startle reflex). These two types of movement are not exclusive, rather they are interdependent. Somatoenergetics works with all movement possibilities, voluntary and involuntary.
Somatoenergetics recognizes that all involuntary movements are organized by a fundamental threefold expression centered within the head, chest and abdomen. Within each of these energetic spheres a subtle yet palpable rhythmic motion emanates with its own unique rate and orientation. Normally, these threefold energies, like the meridian Qi, operate silently below the threshold of perception.
On the other hand, our day to day life requires us to move about with awareness in an organized manner. In order to walk, play sports, write, dance or engage in any meaningful activity we must organize ourselves volitionally, which means it must be within our scope of perception and ability. Indeed, bodies are designed for and dependent upon movement, requiring the integrated use of muscles, joints, connective tissue, bones and nerves. Thus, all aspects of form and functioning are vital to true health, no matter whether we perceive them or not.
In Somatoenergetics gentle massage, manipulation and movement are used to restore body functions to optimal levels. Special techniques are used to encourage healing and to improve the body’s capacity to move with greater flexibility, harmony and ease. The techniques have been drawn together from oriental and osteopathic disciplines (including craniosacral and visceral manipulation), as well as somatic education principles such as the Feldenkrais Method.
Our vitality, health and well-being are directly linked to the quality and quantity of food and water we consume, as well as the air we breathe. Also, sleep, exercise, feelings and attitude play a huge role in health and healing. All these factors are taken into consideration in the practice of Somatoenergetics, which recommends the judicious use of food, natural remedies and life style changes to promote wellness and healing. Effective and gentle Self-care is a vital part of a true healing program.
Appointments and Consultations
A full assessment will take place during your initial Somatoenergetic appointment, and if time permits, you’ll receive a short treatment as well. Follow-up visits tend to focus on treatment. The initial appointment and follow-up visits are generally about an hour long, although, the specific length of time required for one treatment, and the number of successive treatments, will vary according to your circumstance.